Very old hot water heater….does anyone have any info for me?

The Tank Very old hot water heater….does anyone have any info for me?

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  • #22104
    jolivieri
    Participant

    Hey guys,

    I’m new but I figured this would be the right place to ask. I’m buying my first house and I have a very old gas boiler (60s) and a very old hot water heater.

    Was wondering if this is something I would want to keep. I keep hearing these water heaters were so well built and the retro look is pretty cool.

    Any info on this thing would be most appreciated!!!!

    I couldn’t upload a clearer pic but it says Bradford and I believe Magnadur

    Attached files

    #22108
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hi: A little more info would be nice. The main thing to learn is what the tank is made of. You said “Magnadur”. Tanks made of copper have been labelled “Everdur”. That would make for a very long lived tank. Anyway, if you can post photos of the tags and perhaps the gas control, I could pin it down a little better. One thing I do not see on that tank is a T&P valve. It NEEDS one!! I’ll add that earthquakes happen in more places than California, so strapping might not be a silly thing to do. 😉

    Yours, Larry

    #22111
    jolivieri
    Participant

    Thanks Larry!! I haven’t even moved in yet, but hopefully in a couple of weeks I can get some more pictures. I’m pretty sure the T & P valve is mounted very high on the pipe which needs to be changed. I’ll post some pics as soon as I can. Thanks again for the info.

    #22112
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: For you and whoever may read this, the T&P needs to be able to sense the temperature at the top of the tank. If it’s out in the plumbing, it will not see the correct temperature, so is no protection against an explosion. This matters particularly with an older tank where the control is already decades old and could fail. So, when you get there, put a “T” in the hot outlet, as close to the tank as you can get it and that will give you a place to add a new relief valve. We can then all sleep better 😎

    Yours, Larry

    #22117
    LazyDevil
    Participant

    I would inspect the burner area, that soot trail is a little alarming, it might be nothing or it might indicate chronic back-drafting. The gas supply pipe should have a drip leg to help keep foreign matter out of the control valve. But, as Larry said, a properly located and functioning T&P valve is THE MOST IMPORTANT.

    That said, I agree about the retro look. I love that large radius edge on the formed steel top cap! Some things were made better “back then”, but most also looked cooler. Industrial design used to be about catching a customer’s eye, not just shaving pennies off the manufacturing costs.

    Good luck with the first house!
    Chuck

    #22118
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello Chuck: You’re right, they don’t make heaters like they used to! 😛 I think of this Humphrey as one of the prettiest American heaters ever made.

    Yours, Larry

    #22122
    jolivieri
    Participant

    Thanks for the info guys!! That is a really cool piece…

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